It’s safe to say the Carmel Marathon was a big success on Saturday. I’ve had a lot of fun getting more involved with the event and have been thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Carmel Road Racing Group team these past few months. Since I decided to stay home with Marshall- this has been the perfect opportunity for me to work a little, when I have time and stay involved in the running community. I have to thank the race director, Todd Oliver for bringing me on board. He puts on great events in the city and I love participating.
There are so many great moments from the weekend– but the common theme was a bunch of really awesome people working together to make a great event. These races take a lot of manpower to pull off and without the hundreds of volunteers, it wouldn’t be possible. I was mostly involved in helping with our marathon and half marathon pacers, coordinating water stops, working the post race VIP tent and then whatever other odds and ends things that popped up.
Of course since I was helping secure pacers for the race…. Glenn paced his first marathon! I rope this guy into all sorts of things (don’t get me started on when I worked at the JHBCC… I had him visiting old ladies at hospitals with me, cleaning out houses & riding around on a bus full of seniors citizens singing Christmas Carols looking at Christmas lights… seriously the list goes on, oh wait I can’t forget about when I had him WALKING a 4 hour half marathon with us) BUT, he was genuinely interested in this experience. I was super proud of him, as this was a first for him and he came in right at 3:14:40 for the 3:15 group. While he came in alone, he had a good handful of people with him through much of the race. Lot’s of people thanking him at the end, who came in right ahead or right behind him which had to feel good.
Congratulations LESLEY (far right below) for running a PR by a minute, coming in at 3:16. She was with Glenn’s group till around mile 16 or so and clearly hung on pretty tight coming in just a minute behind the official 3:15!
We had a log of great pacers line up for this race– one being Scott Breeden, a newish running friend of ours who is insanely fast. (2:29 marathon PR) Despite his super speedy self, he paced the 3:25 pace group. He also paced a perfect marathon, coming in at 3:24:42.
Scott posted this on Facebook after the race and I think it’s great advice for everyone to take- whether you are a new or experienced runner:
“Somethings that I’ve learned pacing people during marathons throughout the years:”
“For one thing it seems best to go out 5 minutes slower than you think you can run. If you want to run 3:25 go out with the 3:30 group. You can always make up time the last half. Most people are struggling then so I think it would be a mental boost to pass a lot of people those last 10 miles and would make time go a lot faster. Yesterday there were people who wanted to run 3:25 before the race but then put a a few minutes gap on us by the halfway point. We passed all of them in the end. The people who wanted to run 3:25 and actually did were the ones who started slower and didn’t pass me until mile 21/22.
Second is don’t rely on your GPS. Early on when there were a lot of people still with us gps’s were going off at all different intervals, but all were before the designated mile markers. Mine was consistently reading 7:44s but in reality these were 7:48/49 miles due to the inaccuracies of gps units. It’s important to remember that a USATF certified marathon is going to read more like 26.3/26.4 on the GPS than 26.2.
Also to take what the course gives you. Some miles will be slower than others due to hills. Some will be faster than others due to downhills. Average pace should be your goal. Not to run every mile on pace, run every mile at the same effort level. This is especially pertinent on hilly courses, maybe not so much on a course like Carmel, but still there were some slight rollers were you could relax a little bit on the up hills and run a little bit faster using the downhills.”
THANK YOU Scott for stepping up to pace & for the great advice. I hear so many people talking about courses running long these days- it’s ALWAYS going to be long unless you run the tangents perfectly and there are almost no turns on the roads. It is what it is- think about before you had a GPS watch, nobody talked about that kind of thing then! I’ve personally been running without my watch a lot more these days. It’s easy to OBSESS on what the GPS tells you… I like what Scott says to “run every mile at the same effort level”. I understand it’s important to have your watch in order to hit certain goals in your training and races, but sometimes it’s a good idea to hide it so you aren’t constantly looking and run based on your effort level.
Beyond Glenn and Scott- we had some amazing other pacers: this is a picture of me with our 4:40 pacer, Marie. Marie ran her 277th marathon on Saturday and is running Boston next weekend. She is full of energy and so sweet. I’m so happy I got to meet her and can’t wait to have her back next year.
Thank you to all who supported the race- including all of the groups who worked water stops, a great group that I had the opportunity to work with- Back on My Feet, Carmel Key Club, Indy Runners, Carmel Lions Club, Coca-cola, Team Ninja, The Hub, Jason Street Neighborhood, DWA, St. Vincent, Maggie & Ashley’s group, Lanter Eye Care, Tri Kappas, Carmel Robot Club and Genesis Church.
If you run races on a regular basis- I would encourage you to pick a race or two a year to volunteer at and give back to the community. It takes so many people to put on a race like this and as a runner- it’s a really amazing experience to cheer on and support others doing what you love to do. My friend Ashley (you know the running BFF…. who I happened to meet at the Carmel Half last year!) helped recruit people and man a water stop on Saturday. Their group had a great time and I think being a runner probably helped make it a lot more fun! Thank you Maggie & Ashley for taking charge of this stop!
And there were so many runner friends – old and new that ran on Saturday- I can’t even begin to try to mention them all- but I’m so proud- you guys are all amazing- nice work!
We hung out near the finish line cheering in runners to the end, (me cheering, Glenn mostly observing or laying back on the grass. He’s not much for the cheering thing) In fact, when we headed out in the middle of the race to take some other pacers back to their hotel- on the way back, I would slow the car down and stick my head out the window to cheer for people and he told me I needed to settle down. Let me ask you this- wouldn’t you appreciate that encouragement??? I even got to see my high school geometry teacher cross the finish line in a cute little skirt and compression socks- coming in over 6 hrs with a HUGE smile on her face. LOVED that.
Who raced on Saturday?
Have you ever volunteered at a marathon? What did you do?
Have you ever pacer a marathon? Do you use the pacers?
How amazing are the volunteers at these races?!